Several incendiary devices were found at a Jehovah’s Witnesses hall in Colorado as authorities investigated a fire and an apparent murder-suicide on Christmas Day, authorities said.
Police say the incident took place on Christmas Day at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in suburban Denver. Authorities said a man shot and killed his wife before shooting himself.
Around 9 a.m. Sunday, police in Thornton, Colorado, received a call about a fire in the venue, says the department. It was later reported that a married couple had been shot and killed there.
Later that afternoon, police found three “incendiary devices” in the lobby and moved them to safety, police said in a statement.
Earlier Sunday, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office Hazardous Materials Unit was investigating what officials called “suspicious devices.”
The couple were former members of the Kingdom Hall congregation, police said. Their identities have not yet been released, Agent J. Walker told USA TODAY on Monday.
Hours before officials confirmed details of the alleged shooting, they said there were no active threat to the wider area. The motive for the shooting was not disclosed.
The city of Thornton, Colorado is located about 11 miles north of Denver and has a population of over 140,000.
Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann said in a statement to USA TODAY that she and the city council were “saddened by the violent actions that claimed the lives of two people in our town.”
“This kind of violence is always shocking, but especially on Christmas Day. We understand that the Thornton Police Department is in the early stages of the investigation and we will learn more in the coming days,” she added. “For now, we hope we can all take time to focus on those we love and find a way to hold them close today.”
Contributor: Marina Pitofsky